Now that 50 Cent and Kanye West have moved their albums to separate release dates, how about a chart showdown between Kanye West and the man he produced the record "Stand Up" for, Ludacris? Say, 'Cris, what about exchanging dis records with a friend for some pre-hype?
"On this particular record, if he was to send a dis song to me, he might be sending it in Auto-Tune," Luda laughed last week while promoting his Web site, WeMix. "Nah, man. For real, it's gonna be two great albums and I think what [Kanye] is doing is inspiring. People are looking for something new. From the songs I heard from him, I thought that's just what he was doing — new and interesting."
Stating the obvious, Kanye and Luda will have two totally different-sounding albums that both drop on November 25. West sings on 808s & Heartbreak, and on Theater of he Mind, 'Cris has a clear mission: solidify himself again as one of the best on the mic.
"I'm rapping my heart out," the Atlanta champion said. "It's an exciting day to go to retail. I feel like my album [is] such a presentation and far different from anything I've done. Every song is movie- or TV-based. It's not just audio, it's an experience."
Theater of the Mind's standout track is definitely "I Do It for Hip-Hop," which features ... uh, co-stars Nas and Jay-Z. It's a collaboration Luda has been waiting his whole career for.
"The best way I can explain that sh-- is that I feel like almost when you say, 'I've done that and can move on,' " Luda said of the collabo. "After doing a song with Nas and Jay-Z, I feel like a part of me is more complete than I was in hip-hop. I've always wanted to do something that extreme and historic in hip-hop.
"This whole album is going to solidify me in your top five," he continued. "When I say, 'your top five,' I mean anybody who is reading or listening to this. It will solidify me in the top five. It's so many 16s on this. Then I got DJ Premier on a song called 'MVP.' I'm the first Southern artist on a DJ Premier beat that's on their album. Then you have 'The Last of a Dying Breed' with Lil Wayne. There's a song called 'Do the Right Thing' with me and Common and Spike Lee. There's so many 16s on there, taking it to the essence — I'm feeling hella complete."
It feels like old Luda when you look at the new video for "One More Drink," as 'Cris has that vintage humor as he raps about getting drunk and hooking up with ladies — the thing is, though, when sober, he realizes that the women in question aren't as lovely as they were when he was inebriated. One even turns out to be a real wolf that devours his arm. Katt Williams and the song's co-star, T-Pain, are in the clip as well. "What Them Girls Like" and "Undisputed" are the other two videos from the upcoming album.
Over at his new Web site, Luda is holding a contest where up-and-coming MCs can actually win the chance to appear on a remix of "Undisputed" — all they have to do is call a number provided by WeMix and spit 16 bars of that hot fire.
"We do contests all the time on WeMix," he explained. "A lot of people don't necessarily have the means to record [and send in demos], so some can just call and kick the a cappella — the actual 16s — just getting back the essence of what rap is about."
Luda says that he doesn't quite know what type of rapper he's looking for; he just knows they have to be dope.
"It's one of those things that you know when you hear it," he added. "I don't wanna say they have to do specifically metaphors or punch lines, even though that's what I had to do on that particular song 'Undisputed.' As long as somebody just does them, that's more important. I want people to be like themselves."
A winner for the "Undisputed" contest will be announced toward the end of the month on WeMix.